Dear Shepherds Friends,
I’ll tempt fate a bit and start this September newsletter off optimistically anticipating a “normal”, healthy, in-person, be together, see each other’s smiling faces year!
What makes me think so? Independent of the health context (I’d rather not mention that other word perpetually lurking out there), Shepherds comes off a celebratory 2021-22 school year and has many exciting and we hope valuable events planned for the coming fall and year. This newsletter provides some of those details but most of all I want to identify a few themes.
The first is the extraordinary outpouring of generosity of those of you who mentor and sponsor our Shepherds student. I refer both to the current Classes of 2023 to 2025 mentors and sponsors as well as the incoming Class of 2026 mentors. And the generosity I’m talking about is not just the financial support, which is gratefully recognized, but as importantly, the time and attention you give your students. The last two plus years took a toll on the well-being of this population of young people in particular. You responded! We’ve witnessed your increased time attention and expressions of caring in the academic, social and even emotional growth of the students these past two plus years. A collective and deserved thank you!
The second is the sense that this September we are taking another step on Shepherds’ 24-year journey of “changing lives…one student at a time.” We’ll have 63 Shepherds students this year, our largest group in the last six years, an equal number of mentors, solid financial funding, and an expanded program of educational, social, and college prep programs. I am also pleased to make several announcements regarding our team of professionals supporting you.
The 2022 -23-year theme that I hope all constituents can feel and take advantage of this year is the attention and care we give our mentors, both one-on-one and in group activities. Our goal is to provide more opportunities to spend quality time with your student. Your input and engagement with those initiatives are both requested and appreciated.
Let’s have a great year!